Comic Review: Detective Comics, Issue #27 – Special Edition

Published: July 23rd, 2014
Written by: Bill Finger, Brad Meltzer, Scott Snyder
Art by: Bryan Hitch, Bob Kane, Chip Kidd, Sean Murphy

DC Comics, 34 Pages

Review:

This was a cool comic that was given away for free back in 2014. You can actually still get a free digital copy of this on Comixology, if you have the app.

The first third of the comic is a reprint of the first ever Batman story, which appeared way back in 1939 in Detective Comics issue 27. For those who have never read it but are big fans of Batman, it’s definitely worth a look, as you can see how the character started out and how it contrasts how he has evolved over eight decades.

The rest of this single issue comic is comprised of two modern stories, the most important of which is a re-imagining of the original Batman story.

The last tale in this, gives a sort of futuristic look into where Batman could go, decades from now.

This is short and a pretty quick read. But it’s a really cool release for those of us who love Bats from every era.

The early Bob Kane art is neat to see in the first part and the art in the modern stories is really good.

In the end, this is just a cool comic to add to your collection, especially since it’s free.

Rating: 7.5/10
Pairs well with: other old school Batman stories from the Bob Kane and Bill Finger era.

Film Review: Track of the Moon Beast (1976)

Release Date: June 1st, 1976
Directed by: Richard Ashe
Written by: Bill Finger, Charles Sinclair
Music by: Robert G. Orpin
Cast: Chase Cordell, Leigh Drake, Gregorio Sala

Lizard Productions Inc., 81 Minutes

Review:

“I wish I was kidding Mac, I’m not! Now there is an answer and I think I know what it is and it makes me sick to think about it!” – Johnny Longbow

The world has seen werewolf movies a million times over. But were-lizard movies? Those are much harder to come by. Thank god we were given this film to satisfy the were-lizard fans of the world. Sadly, it is as excruciating to get through as a were-lizard gnawing on your face.

I guess it is worth noting that this film was penned by Bill Finger, a man who died in poverty after Bob Kane took all the credit (and money) for creating Batman. Hulu recently did a documentary about Bill Finger and you should check it out for the full story. But he’s a guy instrumental in the creation of my favorite hero, so I thought his involvement in this was worth pointing out, even if the end result wasn’t anything worthwhile.

This film stars no one that anyone would recognize. And other than Bill Finger’s involvement, I haven’t heard of any of the other people involved either.

The story is about this Native American guy trying to solve these strange murders. It plays out like a werewolf movie but it’s got that lizard twist, which makes it completely original. Well, not really. The creature, called the Moon Beast, is created by fragments of a meteorite coming into contact with just some normal human dude. Actually, it gets lodged into his brain… his brain! He goes on a killing spree because these things have to happen in these sort of pictures and eventually, he is destroyed by an arrow made of the same meteorite. In fact, the magic meteorite arrow makes his whole body explode because why wouldn’t it?

Did I spoil the plot? Well, the entire film spoils itself and everything it comes in contact with.

I guess I have to give some props to the filmmakers, however, as they completely steal the most iconic scene from a great 1940’s horror film, Val Lewton and Jacques Tourneur’s The Leopard Man. It’s the scene where someone is trying to get into their house, a loved one leaves them locked outside to teach them a lesson and then the loved one hears horrible screams from the other side of the door, as a pool of blood creeps into the house from outside. Granted, this sequence was completely butchered and looked like shit in this film but it was a nice attempt at an homage that most people would never pick up on. Or maybe it was just outright thievery.

Lastly, there is a band in this movie that plays a set that is entirely too long and feels like it takes up half the damn film. Okay, maybe like five to ten minutes but man, it’s terrible, terrible stuff.

This film is only worth your time if you watch it get riffed on MST3K. It was featured in the final season of the show’s original run.

So this is going into the Cinespiria Shitometer. The results read, “Type 3 Stool: Like a sausage but with cracks on its surface.”

Rating: 2.75/10
Pairs well with: Other films featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000 that deal with body transformation: WerewolfBlood Waters of Dr. ZI Was a Teenage Werewolf and The Incredible Melting Man.

Documentary Review: Batman & Bill (2017)

Release Date: May 6th, 2017
Directed by: Don Argott, Sheena M. Joyce
Music by: Brooke Blair, Will Blair

9.14 Pictures, 93 Minutes

Review:

Man, I really enjoyed this documentary and it is always great to see a positive conclusion to a long standing injustice, even if those who were directly involved didn’t survive to see it.

Batman & Bill is the story of Bill Finger. Most people don’t know the man but he was instrumental in creating Batman and a lot of his supporting characters. Due to a shifty deal that happened back in 1939, Bob Kane got all the credit for Batman’s creation and thus, reaped all the benefits. Kane went as far as to deny Finger’s involvement and claimed sole credit in Batman’s creation.

This film was well put together and tells the story of how Kane and Finger came to be a creative duo. It also goes through the history of Batman and his evolution as a character and a phenomenon.

Marc Tyler Nobleman, an author of seventy-plus books, uncovered more about the real story behind Batman’s creation than anyone else. He investigated Bill Finger’s story for years and eventually published the book Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-creator of Batman. Nobleman made it his mission to draw attention to Finger and his contributions in an effort to get him the credit he deserved.

Nobleman eventually finds a long lost heir to Finger and with her, is able to fight for justice and to right the ship that was misguided more than seventy years earlier.

For true fans of Batman, this is a story that must be known. And for fans of justice, this will make you feel good.

Rating: 8.5/10